Philippine debt rises to P13.64 trillion in October as govt borrowings increase

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2022 03:54 PM

 Philippine pesos and US dollars. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News file
Philippine pesos and US dollars. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News file

MANILA — The Philippines’ national debt further climbed to P13.64 trillion in October from P13.51 trillion in September as the government continued to borrow from both local and foreign lenders.

The Bureau of Treasury on Wednesday said the national government’s total debt portfolio reflects a P123.92 billion or 0.92 percent increase from the end-September. 

Since the start of 2022, the country’s debt increased by P1.91 trillion or 16.31 percent.

Of the total debt, around P9.36 trillion, or 68.58 percent was borrowed from local lenders, while the remainder or P4.29 trillion was sourced from foreign lenders.

“For October, the increment to domestic debt was primarily due to the net issuance of government securities amounting to P55.83 billion while local currency appreciation against the US dollar trimmed P1.25 billion,” Treasury said.

Domestic debt increased by P1.18 trillion or 14.5 percent since the beginning of the year due to the government’s continued preference for domestic financing to mitigate foreign currency risk, the agency said.

Foreign debt however still climbed P69.34 billion or 1.64 percent from the end-September level due to the P118.71 billion net availment of foreign financing.

“This was partly offset by the favorable net impact of both local- and third-currency fluctuations against the USD amounting to P43.07 billion and P6.30 billion, respectively. 

Since the start of the year, foreign debt has increased by P727.65 billion or 20.45 percent primarily due to local- and third-currency fluctuations that increase the peso value of foreign-denominated obligations, Treasury added.

The Philippines borrowed heavily in the last 2 years of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s term to finance the country’s pandemic response and to keep funding his ambitious infrastructure push.

Philippine economic managers have said that the country’s ballooning debt was not a cause for worry as the economy can “outgrow” the debt. 


 
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